All roads lead to Metro

When the siren of the first ever Metro train of the city resounded from the tracks of MG Road station on Thursday at 4 pm, hundreds of people were looking up from the queue outside the station. Snaking outwards to both sides of the station, the queue was getting longer with more people joining in every minute.

Visitors with their tokens at the ticket checking counters in Metro station. Pic Navya P K

As the first train was leaving the station, operators waved to the crowd below. There were loud shout outs from the public, even as some voiced their disappointment in not being able to ride the first train.

"I would give anything to get onto Metro today. This was a long-pending dream," says R Narayanaswamy, 59, standing in the queue with his wife. A resident of Kalyan Nagar, he may not use the Metro regularly. "But it’s the thrill of the first ride," he says.

A dollu kunitha artist with the dollu in Manekshaw parade ground, taking a break. Pic Navya P K

For some it was the hope that Metro will bring much change to their daily lives. S Iqbal Ahmed, a 61-year-old labourer from Banaswadi pitched in – "I hope Metro would start soon all over the city. I only came here to see what it was like."

Ahmed says that there are about 3 lakh labourers only in areas around Banaswadi, and that they have to keep moving to different parts of the city for work. "Our work sites keep changing and we have to travel to far off areas, which takes lot of time," he says.

There were students in the crowd too. Chandrashekhar, 16, a student at St Joseph’s PU, stays in CV Raman Nagar. He says that he may take Metro on days when he cannot board a bus. "Now it takes more than an hour for me to travel to college daily. Maybe I can use Metro for half the journey and then take a bus," he says.

Vinayak and Manjunath from Yeshwanthpur waited at the MG Road station for about two hours to board the train. Pic: Navya P K

Inside, the station was decorated by balloons and flex boards of ministers. The experience of having courteous staff helping and giving directions seemed new to many. Close to the tracks, the excitement was more obvious.

As our train – the third one to depart from the station – started slowly, some had already drifted to the doors on the side, trying to capture the view from the top with their cameras and only backing off a little when the train was about the reach the next stations.

While some commented on the features – how much noise the train made, how fast it was, others cooed at the view of tall buildings outside, while some tut-tutted at the slums down in Bayappanahalli.

But the mix of people in the train indicated that Metro may be the one transport mode that everyone in the city might use commonly.

Passengers taking their first metro ride from MG road to Bayappanahalli. Pic: Navya P K

The inauguration ceremony in the morning was a restricted affair with general public not allowed to attend. Union Minister for Urban Development Kamal Nath inaugurated the first train. Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, state and union ministers, Bangalore MLAs and MPs, Bangalore Mayor Sharadamma were among those present at the event.

Action was slow at the Manekshaw parade ground while the inauguration happened at MG Road station. A few BJP activists were already celebrating with dollu kunitha performance on the grounds for about an hour. By the time the dignitaries reach the grounds after inauguration the ground was packed to capacity.

In addition to the actual inauguration, each station was ‘inaugurated’ conceptually on stage by dignitaries. After profusely thanking Japan for its financial support, most politicians went on to talk about how they or their own party leaders had made the Metro happen.

However, many in the audience did not seem confused about who had to be credited – while the speeches praising Congress leaders were booed, the loudest cheers were for when Ex Chief Minister Yeddyurappa and Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda were mentioned.

At the inaugural speech, CM said "Metro got delayed as we had to get the best technology." He also announced that Byappanahalli station will have a Bangalore Santhe and rural hub for sale of rural products.

Kamal Nath assured that the Centre will support Metro Phase 2 once it is approved by the state. He added that the HSRL (High Speed Rail Link to BIAL) can be replaced by Metro.

About Navya P K 241 Articles
Navya P K is a former senior staff journalist at Citizen Matters, and a freelance journalist based in Kerala.

4 Comments

  1. For purpose of metro, the Big10 routes of G8(Nelamangla), G9(Yelahanka) and G11(Bagalur) have been extended to M.G.Road.

    Following routes have also been run

    Metro feeder route(MF-3)-Banashankari to shivajinagar via Shantinagar, Nanjappa Circle and mayohall

    MF-4: Silkboard to Kalyananagar via Koramangla, Trinity circle station and Lingarajapuram

    MF-5 to Baiyappanhalli station from Silk board

    MF-6: Thambuchettypalya to Mangammanpalya via Kasturinagar, Ramoorthynagar, Domlur, Koramangla IRR

    MF-7: Baiyappanhalli to Kadugodi via CV Raman nagar, Kaggadasapura and HAL

    MF-8: Baiyappanhalli to Baiyappanhalli via IOC, Chikka banaswadi

    MF-9: ITI colony to Domlur Ramamoorthynagar, Baiyappanhalli station, HAL

    Source http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/article2596492.ece

  2. To put the metro to full use, all long distance trains should halt at Bypanahalli.this will reduce the congestion at Cantonment and City railway station to the extent people on the metro route can alight at Bypanahalli itself. I happened to travel on scooter from Ulsoor police station to Trinity circle in the evening and it took more thAn 13 minutes- BMTC should run services from KR Pura etc to bypanahalli metro station. So people travelling on BMTC parallel to metro track can switch over to metro using these shuttle services. If BMTC and METRO can have combined ticket with some concession it would act as a big incentive for people to use the METRO

  3. To put the metro to full use, all long distance trains should halt at Bypanahalli.this will reduce the congestion at Cantonment and City railway station to the extent people on the metro route can alight at Bypanahalli itself. I happened to travel on scooter from Ulsoor police station to Trinity circle in the evening and it took more thAn 13 minutes- BMTC should run services from KR Pura etc to bypanahalli metro station. So people travelling on BMTC parallel to metro track can switch over to metro using these shuttle services. If BMTC and METRO can have combined ticket with some concession it would act as a big incentive for people to use the METRO

  4. For connecting to the M.G.Road metro BMTC has introduced frequent buses on route No. 129D from majestic to majestic-the buses run via Corporation, M.g.Road, shivajinagar, vidhana soudha back to majestic-saw 2 buses in span of about 10 minutes today and both the buses were full to their seating capacity with few standees-also this bus is the 1st bus connecting to MG road side from majestic as all these days people had option of buses only to mayohall to get to MG orad or change buses at corporation

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